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12 money gifts for mom

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6. Sign her up for a women's money club
Like a book club, women meet regularly to talk about how to save, invest and unload debt. "It's a great way for women to get together in groups and learn about money," says Wall, who has a club locator on one of her sites:

Some clubs may have a specific mission, such as helping members get rid of debt or research investments, so look for a group that meets her needs and goals.

7. The right tools
Get her a piece of software like Quicken or Microsoft Money to help her do taxes or track her money. If it's a program you know and love, you can take a Saturday or Sunday to load it into her computer, help her set it up and show her all the tricks.

Not so sharp on the program yourself? Sign her up for a short class so that she can learn how to use it, says Wall.

8. Set up an appointment with a credit counselor
Is mom battling a pile of debt or facing a tough financial situation? A credit counselor can talk her through it. Appointments are available for a nominal cost or free.

The key: Look for a nonprofit group affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (find a local office at or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies,

9. Encourage her entrepreneurial dreams
If mom has entrepreneurial aspirations, this is a great time to give her some help. Research and find a few good books on that specific subject and give her one or more for Mother's Day. Besides giving her a good start, you're also letting her know you've been paying attention.

Or look for a class at a local college that would help get her started. If the class is long-term or more involved, part of the gift is taking over her duties to give her time to attend, and do the related studying, says Wall.

10. Give her a piece of her favorite company
Whether your mom spends her money at Wal-Mart, Saks Fifth Avenue or Whole Foods, consider giving her a share or two of the company's stock. You can also look at specific products or brands that she really likes: the company that manufactures her make-up, the best in kid's toys or her favorite exercise gear.

11. Subscribe to a money magazine or newspaper she might enjoy
Some popular titles include: Money, Entrepreneur, Smart Money and The Wall Street Journal. The important thing is to match the choice to her particular interests and level of knowledge.

If mom surfs the Internet, bookmark a couple of consumer-friendly money management sites that suit her tastes.

12. Make a money date
"A lot of women aren't involved in the family finances," says Bendix.

Or they'll be involved in part (managing bills), but will leave other aspects (such as investing), to their spouses.

What the spouse can do: If she's not involved at all, draw up a balance sheet showing what money comes in, where it goes, etc., says Bendix. Include things like the mortgage, the balance left on the home loan and what the home is worth. Also include the investment accounts (where they are, how much is in them, what the asset allocations are, etc.)

To make it easy, you can use a computerized accounting program to show her "this is how we're growing the money," he says. "Get mom more educated. These are big things."

Top off the occasion with a great meal at her favorite restaurant.'s corrections policy -- Posted: May 7, 2008
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